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Pravāhaṇa Jaivali

From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia

By Swami Harshananda

Story of Pravāhaṇa Jaivali[edit]

Pravāhaṇa Jaivali, the son of Jaivala, hence was called as Pravāhaṇa Jaivali. He was the king of Pāñcāla. He was once holding a big meeting of scholars. Śvetaketu, the son of Gautama Aruṇi, arrived there with a view to taking part in the philosophical disputations and earn some wealth and fame. However, he was unable to answer even one of the five questions put to him by the king. Feeling disgraced, he returned home and took his father to task for not having taught this science that could have helped him to answer these questions. Since Gautama also did not know it, he went in all humility to the king Pravāhaṇa Jaivali and learnt it from him.

References about Pravāhaṇa Jaivali[edit]

This story appears in both the Chāndogya Upaniṣad[1] and the Brhadāranyaka Upaniṣads.[2] In the first chapter of the Chāndogya Upaniṣad[3] also there appears one Pravāhaṇa Jaivali, one of the three who had assembled to discuss about the udgītha.[4] He proves his superiority over the others. In the Jaiminīya Upaniṣad Brāhmana[5] also there is the mention of one Jaivali. He too could be the same person.


  1. Chāndogya Upaniṣad 5.3
  2. Brhadāranyaka Upaniṣads 6.2
  3. Chāndogya Upaniṣad 1.8.1-8
  4. Udgītha means a part of sāman or Sāmaveda mantra.
  5. Jaiminīya Upanisad Brāhmana 1.38.4
  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore